My thoughts on Excedrin’s “What Does a Migraine Feel Like?” video

Many of you have likely seen the Excedrin-produced video called “What Does a Migraine Feel Like? – The Excedrin Migraine Experience.” It was covered by multiple news outlets in early April 2016, and, if you’re like me and get migraine-related “recommended” headlines on your Facebook page, you saw it there as well.  First off, I want to thank the folks who are behind the new video that Excedrin produced, the one where migraine suffers used virtual reality to show their loved ones what an attack is like for them.  You know me: I appreciate any steps we migraineurs can take to educate those without the illness, and I definitely focus a lot of my writing on the symptoms that aren’t pain-related. For those reasons and many more, I am thankful for this new campaign, and for the similar campaign that was done in June 2015 overseas (“The World’s First Migraine Simulator”).

But (you knew there’d be a but) I have my reservations. Wait, that’s not the word.  It’s more like a list of wishes or what-ifs.  I know that any campaign can’t be all things to all people, and due to the length of the commercial (because that’s what it is, at its heart, and that’s okay!), it would be impossible to accommodate my wishes. I’ll leave my personal experiences about Excedrin Migraine out of this (it works for many lucky people, and for that I’m glad).

That said, here’s what I would love to see incorporated next time:

1. a male patient

2. a mention or depiction of migraines that don’t start with aura (i.e., migraine without aura)

3. a mention of other sensations that accompany migraine for many people, including noise and odor sensitivity

4. some way to mimic the physical pain of a bad migraine (okay, that’d probably be torture and highly illegal, but those of you who’ve read my articles over the years know I want everyone to just have one bad migraine, just once!)

5. some way to mimic the nausea (the visual auras depicted in the virtual reality videos of course made people dizzy, but man oh man, the nausea I get during certain attacks has nothing on those visual disturbances)

Now that I’ve written out the above list, I realize how Migraine-Girl-centric it is.  It’s obvious to me now that what I want is a video I can share with my loved ones (and hey, strangers, too!) showing what one of my attacks is like.  Then I’d like to share a virtual reality video of what my next attack is like, and then the next–because, like many of you, my migraines change day to day and year to year and attack to attack.

If you could create a virtual reality machine that would show non-migraineurs what a typical attack is like for you, what would you include? Describe your video/experience and then tell us the top people you’d want to share it with.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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